Melissa Whited

Senior Associate

Melissa Whited

MA Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin

MS Environment and Resources, University of Wisconsin

BA International Studies, Southwestern University

Melissa Whited specializes in issues related to utility regulation, distributed energy resources, and the water-energy nexus. Much of her work focuses on alternative regulatory models to respond to fundamental changes in the electricity landscape spurred by declining demand, new technologies, environmental policies, and the integration of large amounts of renewable energy. Ms. Whited consults on the tools to effectively address this shift, including utility performance incentives, revenue decoupling mechanisms for energy efficiency, innovative demand response programs, and alternative ratemaking.

Recently, Ms. Whited was integrally involved in the development of a benefit-cost analysis framework for distributed energy resources within the context of New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” proceeding. Her other recent work includes consulting on decoupling cases in Maine, Hawaii, and Nevada; conducting a comparative analysis of demand response programs across the United States; analyzing experiences with performance incentives for utilities; and evaluating proposals for time-varying rates in the Northeast.

Ms. Whited’s expertise also encompasses water resource issues. In 2013, Ms. Whited led a study examining the water resource impacts and vulnerabilities of the U.S. power sector. Prior to rejoining Synapse as an associate in 2012, she published in the Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy regarding the economic impacts of irrigation water transfers, and analyzed water resource efficiency options for Wisconsin. Ms. Whited holds two master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin: an MA in agricultural and applied economics, and an MS in environment and resources. 

Selected Recent Publications

Performance-Based Regulation in a High Distributed Energy Resources Future

Synapse Energy Economics and Pacific Economics Group Research for Lawrence Berkeley Labs, 2016

Authors: Tim Woolf, Mark Newton Lowry, Melissa Whited

Caught in a Fix: The Problem with Fixed Charges for Electricity

Synapse Energy Economics for Consumers Union, 2016

Authors: Melissa Whited, Tim Woolf, Joseph Daniel

Direct Testimony Regarding National Grid Rate Design Proposal

Synapse Energy Economics for Energy Freedom Coalition of America, 2016

Authors: Tim Woolf, Melissa Whited